Squaring the circle

A project connecting built fabric and natural environment

Library and sports centre
Viladecans, Barcelona

ETSAB, 01/2019
Thematic Visiting Studio 
Profs. Alberto Campo Baeza and Toni Barceló


The main idea is to recognize and improve the circulations between natural spaces in the area. To do so, the project shapes itself as two squared volumes which are separated from the street and slightly rotated, in order to foster the permeability between park and city. Each volume hosts a programme, which are completely independent. The library integrates a preexisting farm or ‘masía’ embracing it and creating an atrium between the existing building and the new construction. The sports center, instead, makes use of the slope in the site to open up the sports court and the swimming pool towards the landscape.

Regarding materiality, both buildings play with translucencies to reduce the presence of such relevant volumes. In both of them, there is a game of opacity and translucency between the center and the corners of each facade, but each buliding follows its own rules. Therefore, the library has a white masonry facade, mimicking the materiality of the preexisting farm in a contemporary language, and using lattices in some areas. In the sports center instead, polycarbonate is the main material, allowing dim light inside. Therefore, both buildings become two light boxes in the park, creating a reference for the city.